Graphic Novels (Manga)
Graphic novels or better known as manga’s are comic books written and drawn in the Japanese style usually read from back to front. Many are translated in English. A large selection written in Japanese can be found in Asian markets and bookstores. Many popular American book stores like Barnes and Nobles carry a small selection of manga’s. Wider selections can be found on line and at anime conventions. One of the better known manga and comic publisher in the U.S. is Dark Horse. They are known for such titles as Vampire D, Star Wars, Buffy and Hellboy.
Television Shows and Movies
To my recollection Pokémon is just about the longest running anime show in the last decades to be shown in the United States. Although going back 40 years I can remember shows like “Kimba the White Lion” and “Speed Racer” also being anime shows brought over from Japan. More recently shows like “Bleach”, “Full Metal Alchemist” and “Avatar” have come on the scene with a bit more serious subject matter. In the end, those with the best mystical powers win. I personally like these shows. I would watch them with my daughter in the morning before going to work and dropping her off at school. For one, it allowed me to understand why she was so intrigued with these shows. It also created a bond through conversation about the various shows. To share in a program that links from week to week is a great tool between parent and child. Plus seriously, these were very well written shows. So the intrigue definitely was the subject matter.
Video games have played a large role in anime. Such games include one of the more noted series is Final Fantasy that has been running for more than a decade. They have gone from 8 bit graphics to lifelike graphics that keep you captivated. Other games include Kingdom Hearts and Pokémon to name a few.
The internet is filled with many places to find digital art based on anime. One of the more popular sites is DEVIANT Art. Don’t let the name scare you. The site attracts the most amazing artist. Many of them sell their posters at the anime conferences. The best thing about DEVIANT Art is the sharing of critiquing that goes on. I mean, how else are you to get better unless you are pushed by your peers. And this kind of pushing is very healthy.
There are many fine art classes that you can expose your young artist to. We noticed early on that our daughter was a fine mimic of the world around her. Her medium at that the time was the classic tempera paints that kids get in pre-school. They can be mixed from powder and water. This of course was very one dimensional. In her use of the tempera paints we noticed that she was able to pick up on shapes and forms more so than children of her same age. We wanted to help her expand on this and enrolled her in Larry Gluck’s Fine art classes for children. She was there for 2 years between the ages of 7 and 9. The Gluck method follows the classics exposing children to the works of Van Gogh, Renoir and Chagall. Not to mention that they play classical music during class time. I felt very good knowing that she had acquired the basics to fine arts and could apply this anywhere. Her strong suit is anime, but her award winning pieces are water colors of still life.
Most of your Anime products can be found online. Most of these online products are shipped from China. As we become enthusiastic over our selections the opportunity to have them on hand may get put on hold based on your shipment times. It is very unique to find Anime stores. The opportunity in finding these in your own home town can be sought out through the Anime conferences. We got very lucky with “Small Wonders” located in the Westminster Mall in Westminster California. Small Wonders owner Nina Kim is very knowledgeable and quite helpful in supporting our Anime requirements. From mangas, music, plushys to hard to find memorabilia. If you are in the area I high suggest you visit Nina at Small Wonders for your Anime needs.